I had heard about Calcutta Street from a friend who had popped in during their soft launch and raved about the delicious authentic flavours. My friend and I decided to stop by for dinner, though neither of us were very hungry to try out some small plates.
On first glance, the restaurant itself is quite small, but very cozy like stepping into someone’s kitchen. The décor is well thought out and details like the small pot plants to the fan lamp shade are definitely appreciated.
We started off with some cocktails. The cocktail menu is refreshingly short, something there to please all cocktail lovers, and an interesting selection of Indian whiskeys.
The front of house staff were all very lovely and took time to walk us through the food menus. Once our order was placed, we were offered some bhel puri on the house, which is a mixture of puffed rice, spices, fresh cucumber, and tamarind. Oh my god, that was tasty.
Our starters consisted of the phuckha, small UFO-like crispy semolina parcels of spiced potato, beguni, fried battered aubergine and chicken reshmi kebab. The phuckha and chicken were perfectly flavoured with the just the right about of spice. The aubergine was a bit of a let down, it had clearly not been seasoned before frying and the only saving grace was the tangy mustard dip that it came with.
Then came the highlight of the night: Kankrar Jhal, or crab curry. The first think you notice is the size of the crab, and then the colour of the beautiful curry sauce that it’s been cooked in. The flavours are just divine, meaty pieces of crab meat, with beautiful red curry that’s just the perfect amount of spice and heat. We had the luchi (fried bread) and the ghee bhat (rice cooked with ghee) to accompany and they were perfect to soak up every last drop of sauce.
At this point we were beyond full and every last finger was covered in crab and curry (I even found crab bits inside my purse), but we persisted with dessert as we were sold with the description of the Banana Malpua as ‘soft, fluffy, Bengali hotcakes…’. And indeed it was soft and fluffy! I expected the £5 price tag to stretch further than a small single hotcake, but as we were so full, that was forgivable.
I will definitely be heading back to try out the rest of the menu!
Contact: Calcutta Street – 29 Tottenham St, London W1T 4RU. Website.
‘A self-proclaimed vegetarian but will eat anything in the name of culture. Loves food, photography, people, and a slight unhealthy obsession with dogs’ -Michelle Chen